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Eastern Europe's new capital: Sicily!

Ulrich Spranger
Ulrich Spranger
Me ranting about the locations of vendor events is nothing new. The latest hit: one of our vendors is inviting its Eastern European customers to a partner conference. Correct: the important event where products, markets and sales strategies for the year are meant to be discussed.

But where are they inviting them to? Sicily! A beautiful island, but there is not a single scheduled flight going there from Eastern Europe even during the summer. Each customer therefore has to change at least once. Why Sicily? Every Eastern European capital or major city has direct flights to Vienna, Frankfurt, London and Paris, every day, all year around. It could be so easy ...

Or why not plan a business meeting right where a lot of customers already are, like Budapest, Prague or Warsaw in this case. That would be more efficient, cheaper for most, and many would not even need to travel at all. An especially important point for corporate groups: mind the CO2 footprint!

A trip to a meeting in a metropolis also never is an issue with taxes. A holiday destination topped off with an entertainment programme that is even advertised in the invitation, on the other hand, is a feast for any tax auditor. Strangely enough, it's the American companies who don't understand this, while usually trying to coerce the rest of the world to follow their compliance rules. Especially when this vendor, apart from providing barcode-related products, also provides plenty of parts for American nuclear weapons. Someone posting a funny picture of the beach barbecue on Facebook is hardly avoidable ... and if anybody is laughing at a meeting, the tax office immediately perceives a private background.

At least this time the meeting is taking place before the flight plan changes to winter schedule. Vendors usually like to hold their island meetings after the winter schedule takes effect, because as there are almost no flights then, at least hotel prices drop. What's funny is that there usually is a super cheap flight with Ryanair or Easyjet from the vendor's headquarters to the conference location. Thus their own employees are already cared for. When the customer was king, those were the days :)
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